Ryanair posts record Christmas quarter, sees ‘very strong’ summer demand

Ryanair aircraft Boeing 737-800 preparing to take off at Krakow airport.

Omar Marquez | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Ryanair It posted its biggest-ever post-tax profit on Monday for the October-December quarter and said bookings for Easter and summer flights were “very strong” in recent weeks, boosted by demand from Asian travelers and a stronger US dollar.

“At this point in time there are no signs of a slowdown in bookings,” Chief Financial Officer Neil Sorahan told Reuters.

“We had record bookings in the second and third week of January, very strong demand over Easter and summer without any fare stimulus,” he said.

Irish Airline, Europe’s biggest by passenger numbers, said it earned 211 million euros ($229.40 million) in the three months ended December 31, the third quarter of its fiscal year.

The profit number compared with forecasts of 200 million euros in a company poll of analysts and a previous record of 106 million euros for the last three months of 2017.

Ryanair reiterated its forecast for profit after tax of between 1.325 billion and 1.425 billion euros for the year to 31 March. Sorahan said he was “very comfortable” with that range.

He declined to comment on whether rents are likely to increase by high-single-digit percentages this coming summer, saying only that he was “encouraged by the bookings at this point.”

In January the airline upgraded an earlier forecast to 1 billion-1.2 billion euros, citing a surge in worldwide travel demand following COVID-19 lockdowns.

“With the return of Asian tourists and a strong US dollar encouraging Americans to explore Europe, we are seeing strong demand,” Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Leary said in a statement.

O’Leary said in a video presentation that the slump in demand in the UK reported earlier in January has disappeared and could be due to a transport strike in the country.

Last week, rivals Wizz Air and EasyJet reported strong summer bookings.

Ryanair, which unlike many airlines, kept its pilots and crew up-to-date with its flight hours, to take advantage of a rapid rebound during the pandemic and to carry a record 38.4 million passengers in the final three months of 2022 Blown up

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Its market share in Italy rose to 40% from 26% before the COVID-19 pandemic, and from 27% to 38% in Poland, the results statement said on Monday.

“We see Easter and summer booking commentary as a positive sentiment for the shares,” Citi analyst Satish Shivakumar said in a note.

Ryanair expects to fly 168 million passengers this year by March 31, well above its previous annual record of 149 million before the pandemic brought the travel industry to a halt.

O’Leary said the number of passengers is expected to reach 185 million in the next fiscal year.

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